At the turn of the 17th century, an English lawyer named Thomas Helwys had become part of a separatist congregation in Lincolnshire (it is to this congregation that many Baptists trace their roots). They were dissenters from the Church of England, established by King Henry VIII. In what is considered the first written call for religious freedom in the English language, Helwys wrote, “If the King’s people be obedient and true subjects, obeying all humane laws made by the King, our Lord the King can require no more: for men’s religion to God is betwixt God and themselves; the King shall not answer for it, neither may the King be judge between God and man.”
Once upon a time, “religious freedom” was the cry of the oppressed minority when basic human rights were being denied them by their own government because of their religious beliefs. Today, in the United States, “religious freedom” is becoming the cry of the privileged and powerful concerning what they can rightfully deny someone else because of religious beliefs. It has been a radical shift, and it is an embarrassing travesty.
Religious freedom used to be about gaining the protection of the law, not putting oneself above the law. In the late 1700s, Baptist minister John Leland wrote, “Let every man speak freely without fear — maintain the principles that he believes — worship according to his own faith, either one God, three Gods, no God, or twenty Gods; and let government protect him in so doing.”
facebook.com —video from the article below
It takes seven months for a McDonald’s worker to earn what the company’s CEO makes in one hour, according to a 2013 study from Nerdwallet.
Bartolomé Perez, a McDonald’s worker in Los Angeles, proves this point. He’s worked at McDonald’s for 22 years, and his wages have only increased from $4.25 an hour to $10.75 an hour, which means he’s had an average pay increase of 29 cents per year. Still, $10.75 an hour is almost 20 percent more than the wages of the average McDonald’s employee (and it will still be 10 percent more even after McDonald’s increases its wages this year).
“Ten years ago, this was the perfect job,” Perez told ATTN:, discussing how his wages have failed to keep pace with his cost of living.
Remember back in 2013 when McDonalds published it’s budget advice?
If you learned anything from John Scalzi’s excellent article explaining White Male Priviledge to white males, you may also learn something from Alikah Hughes about Intersectionality:
Writer and comedian Akilah Hughes has created a brilliant explanation of intersectionality, using the ever timeless metaphor of pizza. That’s right. Pizza.
Using a creative key of burgers, deluxe pizzas, and cheese pizzas, Akilah breaks down Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory in an easy to digest video. (That pun was absolutely intended)
“Akilah Hughes: Hi Youtube, it’s @AkilahObviously! Today I wanted to talk about an issue that’s been neglected on Youtube and in pop-culture, specifically when we talk about Patty Arquette and her Oscar’s speech and Nellie Andreeva at Deadline who thinks that diversity is over-taking Hollywood and that there are no roles for white people anymore. …
PHOTO: Bankok Post- Slave-labour fish mixes in with Thai catch ( (c) Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.)
A few years ago, a friend promised Asorasak Thama a job in the Thai fishing industry. The job offered good pay for a few weeks of work.
Instead, he wound up trapped at sea for a year, working in terrible conditions for no pay at all. Thama had become a slave.
Authorities rescued Thama and his crewmembers when they stopped the boat he was trapped on for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. A few years later, however — after a stranger drugged him at a bar in southern Thailand — Thama found himself enslaved again.
When his boat came into shore to get a fishing license from Malaysia, he waited until the captain had had a few drinks, then punched him and fled.
Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That’s the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.
The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.
All of the following images were shot in a small area of Angeles National Forest at Upper Big Tujunga canyon. The Station fire some years ago was extremely fierce in this area. A string of high tension high voltage towers and lines come through here. They were threatened by the fire as well. We still see the scars pretty starkly. But despite the drought this years rains brought back some green. Wildflowers. And just from casual observation the gray squirrels are having a banner year.
I was struck by the contrasts. Green growth and blackened bark. Hardwood exposed by fire and wind right next to steel that shows scars of fire. A flower emerges from wood that was burned to a skeleton years ago. I hope these images well convey the eerie feeling present in this little acre of forest.
And yet new growth abounds
In the interest of time, let’s cut directly to the second most important thing you’ll read on climate change this year, the time-saving secrets:
- Skip climate articles by people who think the problem is hopeless or intractable -- because it most certainly is not.
- Skip articles written by George Will and his ilk.
- Skip articles -- especially longer climate essays -- by authors who don't explicitly tell you what temperature target or CO2 concentration target they embrace and how they'd go about attaining it.
- Skip articles embracing Orwellian terms like "good Anthropocene."
Read the whole thing for more details: How to Tell if the Article About Climate You Are Reading Is B.S., in Four Easy Steps
BREAKING EXCLUSIVE MUST CREDIT TWITCHY! The liberal-biased interwebs are putting conservatives in Twitter jail, maybe (or maybe not) but probably (but probably not), just for being conservatives, OH NOES!
Michelle Malkin, conservative keyboard-banging hero and founder of the the site with NINE PAID STAFFERS (or, ugh, maybe even more by now) who collect random tweets, mostly by Pat Sajak, and call it “the news wire of the 21st century,” is on to you, Twitter!
Been working lots of hours. Got a busted computer. So to cheer up I grab the camera and enjoy the birds. Unlike recent local hummingbird sessions, this time I went for the big glass. 400mm super telephoto. It is very hard to focus right, but when you do it’s really sharp.
Most of these are from home but the one with the bird at a real flower, that was shot today out in Angeles National Forest. Great to catch one in the wild! The images include a couple species, Anna’s hummingbird the SoCal all year resident and some others that migrate through including the rarely seen blue throated hummingbird. Maybe…
Riding a bike while Black.
In the past three years, Tampa police have written 2,504 bike tickets — more than Jacksonville, Miami, St. Petersburg and Orlando combined.
Police say they are gung ho about bike safety and focused on stopping a plague of bike thefts.
But here’s something they don’t mention about the people they ticket:
Eight out of 10 are black.
A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Tampa police are targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.
Officers use these minor violations as an excuse to stop, question and search almost anyone on wheels. The department doesn’t just condone these stops, it encourages them, pushing officers who patrol high-crime neighborhoods to do as many as possible.
The Times’ findings concern others — Hillsborough Circuit judges and the Public Defender, social rights advocates and some of the leading researchers in race and policing.
“You almost roll your eyes when you read the reports,” said Circuit Judge Tracy Sheehan. “Oh no, another bike stop, another kid riding on the handlebars, here we go. And certainly, we have laws and we should all follow the law, but it occurred to me the stops were all occurring in certain neighborhoods and with certain children, and not in my neighborhood, and not with the white kids.”
Joyce Hamilton Henry, Director of Advocacy for ACLU of Florida, wants to know: “If it’s not racial profiling, what is it?”
The racial breakdown of the tickets suggests police are using their discretion differently when it comes to bikes. For more serious driving offenses, blacks were not more likely to be cited. For failing to stop at a red light in 2014, blacks got only 11 percent of tickets. Bike tickets that year, 81 percent.
Internal police department records show a sustained effort to encourage bike stops as a means to reduce more serious crimes.
Officers get yearly “productivity reports,” calculating, in part, how many tickets they give. One personnel file detailed a “red grid patrol” in which officers are encouraged to “engage and identify offenders through street checks, bike stops and traffic stops.”
In another file, a supervisor told a new officer he should learn rarely used traffic statutes. The fact that he wasn’t familiar with them was noted as a “significant weakness” in his 2012 performance review. The next year, the new officer impressed his bosses with his “dramatic increase” in “self-initiated activity.”
He wrote 111 bike tickets, the most in the department. All but four of the cyclists were black.
Why does this sound so familiar? Oh, yeah:
There are racial disparities in police stops—blacks are stopped twice as often as whites—but they aren’t related to traffic safety offenses, in which cops exercise a little less discretion and violations are equal within groups. Where we see a difference—even after we adjust for driving time (on average, blacks drive more and longer than whites)—is in investigatory stops. In these, drivers are stopped for exceedingly minor violations—driving too slowly, malfunctioning lights, failure to signal—which are used as pretext for investigations of the driver and the vehicle.
Earlier in the piece a police spokesman was quoted thusly:
“We want to see the thefts of bicycles go down. We want to see the safety get better so there are less crashes,” he said. “Whether it leads to something else or not is going to be secondary.”
That spokesman probably has a bridge he’d like to sell you because later in the piece we find out:
Despite the thousands of hours spent by police, court clerks, public defenders, prosecutors and judges on enforcement of bicycle laws, it’s hard to tell what Tampa gets out of them.
Even though 2013 was one of the department’s highest ticketing years, bike crashes still rose the following year by 20 percent. Bike thefts, too, climbed 15 percent.
Also in the article:
Earlier this year, [Police Chief Jane] Castor spoke in Washington in front of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
She emphasized the importance of building trust in high crime neighborhoods.
“Every encounter with an officer is an opportunity to build a positive partnership in the community. It creates trust that must be the foundation of our relationship with our citizens,” she said.
I’m sure this all is doing wonders building trust in the community.
April 16, 2015 Since declaring his presidential candidacy, Sen. Rand Paul has cited his work as an ophthalmologist to back up his anti-abortion record. He has often spoken of holding “one-pound babies” in his hand while performing eye examinations on them. At a conference hosted by an anti-abortion group on Thursday, Paul specified that the babies he was examining often suffered from “retinopathy of prematurity,” a condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated.
“When I see these little babies and I put them in the palm of my hand, I think, ‘Well gosh, this baby certainly has rights,’” Paul told the crowd gathered in a ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington for the conference hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List.
In the past, Paul has sponsored a personhood amendment and backs a 20-week abortion ban, but more recently he has gained scrutiny for dodging questions about specifics. In the first week of his official presidential campaign—during a whistle-stop tour that criss-crossed the country—reporters branded Paul for giving “testy” interviews when asked for details about his stance on exceptions to abortion restrictions.
Now, let’s see what Hillary Clinton says: